Reportage in 2000

More Echelon

January - February 2000


NSA's February 2000 Report to Congress, "Legal Standards for the Intelligence Community in Conducting Electronic Surveillance," is available at:

Materials arranged chronologically.

Oakes, Chris. "Echelon 'Proof' Discovered." Wired News, 26 Jan. 2000. [http://www.]

Jeffrey Richelson, National Security Archives researcher, has found "[r]eferences to a project Echelon" in declassified NSA documents obtained under FOIA. Richelson "said the documents indicate that it may not have nearly the illicit scope and nature held by some of the more extreme conspiracy theories.... In fact, Richelson said he doubts the agency has overstepped any legal bounds in executing the Echelon program."

Richelson's introduction to the documents is available at: The documents with Richelson's annotations are available at:

Lallemand, Alain. "London Helps Washington Spy on Europe." Le Soir (Brussels), 27 Jan. 2000. []

In February 2000, the Commission of public freedoms of the European Parliament will receive an "extremely technical" report that makes "clear that 'Echelon' is no longer a fantasy."

Castle, Stephen. "Britain and US Monitoring All Global Messages." The Independent (UK), 28 Jan. 2000. []

According to a report for the European Parliament, written by researcher Duncan Campbell, "[a]lmost every modern form of communication, from satellites to the internet, is being intercepted by a multi-billion pound global surveillance operation dominated by the US and Britain."

Sage, Adam. "French to Sue US and Britain over Network of Spies." Times (London), 10 Feb. 2000. []

French lawyers "are planning a class action" against the U.S. and British governments over the Echelon monitoring system.

Sherwell, Philip, and David Wastell. "Britain's Spy Posts Accused of Listening In on Business." Telegraph (London), 13 Feb. 2000. []

"Britain and the US are facing unprecedented legal and political challenges from their European allies" over the "secret Anglophone spy network" codenamed Echelon.

Goodspeed, Peter. "The New Space Invaders: Spies in the Sky." National Post, 19 Feb. 2000. []

"[T]he new technology of the post-Cold War world has suddenly transformed the West's leading spymasters into sinister shadows manipulating a massive surveillance system that can capture and study every telephone call, fax and e-mail message sent anywhere in the world. These high-tech espionage agents from Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand -- backed up by a web of ships, planes and radar and communication interception sites that ring the earth -- have established the greatest spy network in history. Its name is Echelon....

"On [22 February 2000] , the European Union's parliament will open a major international debate on the spy practices of the world's five leading English-speaking nations, claiming that this electronic espionage ring ... is methodically going where it has no right to go. The EU's civil liberties committee is expected to accuse Britain of aiding the United States in conducting economic and commercial espionage on a grand scale at the expense of its European partners. A special 112-page expose of the spy network prepared for the EU last spring [by Duncan Campbell, a Scottish physicist and researcher] declares that the rapid proliferation of surveillance technologies presents 'a serious threat to the civil liberties in Europe' with 'awesome implications.'"

Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose. "Brussels to Check US-British 'Trade Spy Network.'" Telegraph (London), 22 Feb. 2000. []

Romano Prodi, European Commission president, has instructed his staff "to follow up a European Parliament report which claims that secret data [from listening posts in England] is passed to the US Commerce Department for use by American firms."

Bremner, Charles. "French Accuse Gates of Bugging Software." Times (London), 23 Feb. 2000. []

"French anger over alleged electronic spying by the United States and Britain intensified [on 22 February 2000] with a Defence Ministry report that Microsoft may have collaborated with American intelligence services to bug its Windows software. The claim [was] denied by Microsoft."

Becker, Elizabeth. "Long History of Intercepting Key Words." New York Times, 24 Feb. 2000. []

"The Echelon system was developed in the 1970's. It links computers in at least seven sites around the world to receive, analyze and sort information captured from satellite communications, newly declassified information shows. The computers watch and listen for key words in telephone, fax and Internet communications and route intercepted messages on a topic requested by a country."

Bishop, Patrick, and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. "Cold War Spy System 'Now Snooping on French Firms.'" Telegraph (London), 24 Feb. 2000. []

French Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou told the French parliament on 23 February 2000 "that Echelon, the spy satellite network, had ceased to have a military function after the Cold War and was now used for commercial snooping."

Dahlburg, John-Thor, and Bob Drogin. "Europe Angered by Claims of U.S. Spying." Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2000. []

"Just whom the NSA listens to -- and why -- is increasingly a matter of international dispute.... 'How the United States Spies on You' was the alarming headline [on 23 February 2000] in the French newspaper Le Monde. The same day, a committee of the 15-nation European Parliament heard a British physicist and journalist, Duncan Campbell, claim that Echelon was used to help Boeing Co. and Raytheon Co. beat out European competitors in foreign markets."

Daley, Suzanne. "An Electronic Spy Scare Is Alarming Europe." New York Times, 24 Feb. 2000. []

"Fears that the United States, Britain and other English-speaking countries are using a cold-war eavesdropping network to gain a commercial edge roused passions across Europe [on 23 February 2000], even after Washington and London roundly denied the notion."

Trueheart, Charles. "Europeans Decry U.S. Electronic Intercepts: New Report Alleges Industrial Espionage." Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2000, A13. [http://www.washingtonpost. com]

A report released on 23 February 2000 by a special European Parliament commission, "describing massive U.S.-led eavesdropping on private telephone conversations, faxes and e-mail messages around the world ," has "prompted a wave of concern and indignation in Europe."

Forward to Echelon March-December 2000

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